Learning to be brave and decide! (Part 2 of The Courage Series)

What I’ve learned from Creativity and Deciding!

If there is one thing I’ve learned about myself in the last year or so it’s that almost anything becomes possible once I set my mind to it and decide to go for it. I’ve taken on so many new experiences not only this year but in the last couple of years that have gotten me to where I am now. All have involved deciding to take on at the time something new. If I had not done so then who knows where or who I’d be, perhaps still me but a little more different, a little less brave/open. It’s not always so easy though, and realizing that much of the time what held me back is in agonzining over decisions, going back and forth between truly wanting to try and bowing out in hopes of gaining more information or clarity. 8ba8ba23c5c41649d489c666dd87b3f4 I’ve driven myself crazy in this process- the hemming and hawing involved in making next steps; second guessing/going one way or the other then back again is exhausting; dwelling on the uncertainty looming in the air at times has seemed like an effort in futility.

What has proven valuable- despite uncertainty- is indubitable power in deciding to do something even if you’re unsure. If guessing at what’s unclear is no help then the one that does and can control is our own decisions, which can either mean being brave in the chance of uncertainty or sticking to what we know and is familiar. Which although is safe, doesn’t really allow you or I to grow. If I had stuck to the familiar and in giving an example say in creativity then I would have never learned how enjoyable baking, or knitting or even doing pastels would have been. By deciding, however, to at least try these experiences I’ve learned and grown so much all of which I wouldn’t have if I stayed in my room.

There’s also a quote I’ve seen and have around my desk that reads:

“If it excites you and scares you at the same time, it might be a good thing to try”.

I find it a great inspiration to help in continuing to be brave and open to new experiences and decisions- both those with great certainty and uncertainty. I think of it every time I’m attempting to write something new; explore a new insight; try something new and especially in sharing my experiences or thoughts with someone else. All of which can seem exciting or scary to me at any given moment depending on how I chose to look at it but by taking I’ve been able to stop worrying and figure out how to move forward. *In full admittance* this is a work in progress for me that has been both inspiring and un-nerving at times but knowing there is only one way to go from where I stand and that’s forward with patience and courage has helped- also the quote mentioned above works well too.

Be brave, bold and determined,

Best,

Introverted Butterfly

Question: “How do you know when you’re ready for change?”

My thoughts on it based on past experiences

It seems from experience,  you may never know how ready for change you are, until the day it happens. This is what can make it challenging, to prepare or plan, even in the most obvious of circumstances there is still something to that change out of our control. So the only way to be ready then is to look back and realize that what made you ready was getting through the change and being brave enough to take on more endeavours in the future.

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A Message on New Experiences and Openness!

How to embrace new experiences and set our expectations for fun!

So here is my theory.  I believe when we challenge ourselves to step outside of our comfort zones, and into new experiences then there is a much to be enjoyed and learned from it, as long as we aren’t setting our expectations too high or not giving it the benefit of the doubt.  Also by being open to these new experiences we’re also opening ourselves up to a more enriching lives with every opportunity that comes our way. And allowing it to be anything and everything, as it is. From there, there’s no knowing where it will lead or what will come next. You may find new ways to spend your time or find out something you might have thought wasn’t for you actually is. Just give it a chance to surprise you. No matter what we are currently experiencing or doing there is something to be learned from it if we are open to it, so why not embrace that as well and throw fun in their just for fun’s sake! An especially valid point for really new experiences.

I’ll admit looking back, I didn’t always believe this to be true. A younger version of me would have shyed away from such activities simply because they sounded too new to me. Immediately, my mind would fill with doubt as I pictured the worst case scenario happening to each outside my comfort zone. I would also set expectations too high and be
victim to 001ef6b1cb732dd2b60c2ab8c6937bcadisappointment or disappointing myself if it didn’t turn out just so.  What I now realize is by closing myself off to these opportunities I wasn’t allowing the opportunity to be fun and enjoyable. By being open to more experiences now-a-days that have surprised me and where I’ve had a blast, really been able to be present in that moment, felt pride for at least trying and most importantly HAD FUN!

Here are just a few: baking then cooking, doing crafts, travelling- that was a big one, but highly rewarding, drumming and dancing. At one point, or other they all seemed foreign and undoable to me now the more I try them or in different ways the more open I am to try them again!

checklist.jpgTo sum up- here is my simpler list of ways to set FUN as the expectation:

  • Sometimes we have to be gentler on ourselves for not quite getting the moves right, or getting anything right the first time. Ask yourself: “Am I having Fun?” and if the answer is “Yes!” then you’re doing great! 
  • Putting expectations on it to go perfectly or for us to be perfect at it. Is too much to ask, and will only get us stuck in our heads and out of being present in the moment.  You can’t expect to be perfect at something you’ve never tried folks! So, why set yourselves up for failure or disappointment?
  • Also it’s impossible to go into any new situation positively when doubt and pessism cloud your thoughts. What that means is we’re closing off the experience to be what it is by already picturing what it won’t be or putting negative energy towards its’ outcome. Try going in open-minded, and embracing it for however it turns out! 
  • And finally…be proud of yourself for taking that first step and going through with it! Sometimes, it’s as simple as saying “Heck! Yes!” even if you aren’t entirely sure what it will entail. Savour the experience and how you feel by being open, positive, having fun and feeling pride just for trying it out! 

When I started setting these expectations for myself then it was definitely easier for me to say “Yes” to more new experiences, enjoy them more and have fun!

 Adventurously Yours,

Introverted Butterfly

Images: Courtesy of Google

Expectations- Where They Might Come from Within Us

Often we are taught that many expectations begin in the mind, and start out as some ideal vision of what we hope the situation/experience to become. From there, they guide us and let us know how well or not we are doing in creating the perfect scenario. Most of the time we are aware of this and can best figure out how to work with them. But there are the select few cases that are a fair bit more trickier to figure out how to navigate our own expectations or perhaps it is finding a way to release them when out of our control. This from my experience is particularly true of the ones where we are required to put our hearts out there for others to embrace and in forming connections with that person. Essentially, ones where it’s not just you involved.

The reality of the experience often tends to be slightly different from expectations, and can create a contrast and confusion over what we perceive is real versus inside our heads. As our expectations often try to trick us into thinking that it is not enough or it’s something we hope to be more than it is. As we get our hopes up, though, our hearts grow with fancy full possibilities of that something now becoming grand. Well sometimes these hopes work out for the better, certain ones can lead to heartbreak and disappointment when your expectations differ from the other persons. Regardless, though, we must try to be brave and open allowing another to see our true selves. In these moments, our hearts can grow fonder or fuller of possibilities as all it seems to take is one positive moment for this to begin as the possibilities to appear and expectations to come in from no where.

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This is why I believe it can be hard to lower or let go of certain expectations because as it is common for our hearts and minds to conflict over particular situations- like whether to take a job or not, where to travel, or what to do in your life it can be really challenging when the dilemma directly involves the heart and a fondness for another person. In what should be the hearts territory we often have to consult our minds to be sure and feel safest doing so, making the battle that much more confusing and tougher to release our greatest hopes from. This is why
it takes being able to do that in the heart as well to truly let go, for one to be okay doing that, work through the process of letting go and accepting what is right in front of us as it is.

This is just my humble opinion though, I’d be interested to see how you deal with your expectations? And do you believe it’s possible to lower them without totally breaking our own hearts?

Receptive and Heartfelt,

Introverted Butterfly

How to Bring Your True Self Forward!

On Openness and Letting Others See Your Authentic Self:

Putting yourself out there, personally and in the flesh, can be a very brave thing to do. You are letting those around you, see all your true colours- the pinks, purples, and yellows but also the darker ones those blues, greys and storm like hues. These are the sides we would rather not let out of our grasp, and instead keep safely tucked away without the key. Unfortunately, though, they are also the ones important to show if we want to build on any of our connections because these parts of us- all parts- are how we let others know that we are authenic (and human). Nobody is perfect, everybody has their faults/flaws. Those flaws are what make us interesting individuals.

I know that it may take some time and therefore is a process in which we must be patient with ourselves. These are two things, that I’m learning to work towards embracing more myself. So I totally get that. I’m starting to understand this though, that there really is no guarntee that others will be able to embrace every aspect of you, and will agree with what you’re saying but true friends accept each other for who they are- flaws and all-. Also the ones that forgive often when misunderstanding occurs.   Which is good because sometimes, we say things we’ll regret or take back later, or worse say nothing at all for fear that it will be the wrong thing or get taken the wrong way.

So how to begin…

You could start by challenging yourself to be more open, honest and authenic. I know it’s a hard and sometimes scary thing to do, but I am chosing to believe it’s 100% worth it in the end. Not only in finding the right connections and growing the74a469f67cbc03ced97d6b19b132fa4bm, but in working towards total acceptance of the self. Just think, if we can’t accept ourselves first then how are we going to allow another to get the chance to do that? When we become more comfortable with who we are and what we have to offer it seems easier to let others see that and know that if we find ourselves straying from true form they have the chance to remind us who we truly are.

So, why not take a chance or risk and open up a bit more outside of your comfort zone.

Always learning,

Introverted Butterfly

Expectations on Experience: The Other Side

Part Two: Hoping for a Particular Outcome in Experiences

So a little while ago, I talked about putting expectations on people and the roles that we sometimes wish them to fill- realistic or not- that put pressure on our connection with them rather than simply accepting everything that they bring to a certain relationship- which “Yes” can mean the good and bad. I figure that’s about what any connection whether it’s romantic, friendly or familial is. Accepting that person where they are at, what they bring to any relationship is the key to truly appreciating it and allowing it to grow. There’s more on this from Hindsight of Past Moments (and Expectations), if you’re interested in knowing more.

Here we’re focus on the otherside, when we put expectations on an experience or desperately want some to have a big outcome. To start here is an example of how the two work hand in hand:

You plan to go to this really awesome concert with a friend. Although, your friend likes the group, music and over all concert experience, you have a sense that they won’t enjoy it as much as you or aren’t a big enough fan to truly savour the experience. Regardless, you invited them anyways with the hopes that hearing the group perform live would create an even bigger fan of your friend. By the way- already expectations have come (most of the time unconsciously) in your mind. You also hope that if your friend is having an awesome time, you’ll have an even awesomer time than planned. On the flipside, if your friend only finds the concert okay, isn’t that wowed by your favourite artist or can’t pretend to be into the scene (Which by the way, is totally okay- to each their own I always say) then by placing expectations on their enjoyment, yours may fall short too or worse would ruin the experience for you. So you see, what ends up happening is expectations can block you from not only appreciating what is right in front of you but being in that moment and your own enjoyment!

To nicely sum up: All we can really do and control- I might add- is ourselves and our outlooks. The rest a lot of the time isn’t up to us, but the situation and what comes of it. So, here’s the choice: We can chose to make the best of it or let make the best of us. Meaning ruin our outlook and cast a negative cloud over the experience. Therefore the more we and others can enjoy it and make the best of the moments before they become memories, the better off we’ll be. This isn’t always easy, but totally worth it in the end.

So set yourself free of trying to expect too much, and try being open to whatever happens, when it happens!

Introverted Butterfly

 

Thoughts on Graduating and Transitions

Transitioning from one role to the next can be tough, and even tougher still to figure out which path to travel next. The beauty of transitions and new stages in lifeis that you have that choice. There are many stages of transitioning and experiences we go through, all important and varied. But one of the larger ones is after finally concluding our academic career and feel ready to move onto to big steps and dreams. Which is why today, I am mainly going to focus on graduation- the most common one this time of year-.

Yes, the road ahead can seem like quite the long one and there are many questions to answer along the way, but here I’ll offer my best advice looking back on how I handled it and what I’m continuing to learn as I figure new pieces out.

When learning within classroom walls is what we’re used to most it can be hard to imagine what else may be in store for us. It can be overwhelming in the first little while as the transition takes place but as you start to figure things out and some questions get answered you can get a feel for what may come ahead. For me, anyways, it was learning in new ways. Now I am learning about myself, how I interact amongst the world and what it is really like out there- actually experiencing life, people and how it works, along

Background-Of-Graduationwith tons more lessons. Which is rather exciting. Secondly, that feeling of being overwhelmed by what’s ahead can be totally normal. Once you get over the nerves you’ll see that it’s your time to create your own path, set your own goals with measurable steps, and perhaps rediscover or to even more finally follow your passion. One of my favourite parts is realizing that I can do, what I’ve always wanted to- which is write and continue to learn as much about the craft as I can.

It can be tough at first to do this, and that’s some courage and curiousity, but it’s totally worth in the end. After all, this is your time to claim the future and continue to grow even greater on our own. Final advice: The best way to know and begin is to take small steps- in a positive direction-, after all you may never know where they lead and the only way to find out is to try!

So all the best out there, to anyone transitioning into whatever next great endeavor it may be! Keep on, keepin’ on!

Introverted Butterfly (always transforming and learning)

 

This Weeks Inspiration

Getting a Healthy Outlook and Baking Adventures

So this week’s adventure is another one in baking, healthy this time. Feeling like it was time to get a fresh outlook and healthy one after coming to the very true conclusion of how I’d like to approach this year and my day-to-day living.  I’ve realized that it all starts within to shine through on the outside. With that said, every so often I’m going to work on incorporating healthier recipes into my baking adventures. Cue big sigh and hesitant acceptance. But, it’s my year to make the most of, and a worthwhile one. Always worried that these intentions I set tend to catch-up with me by the time another year rolls around. I am determined to have an answer to the question “Well. What have you got to show for yourself this year?”  And not let it get away from me.

In that spirit of embracing new things and openness  I had decided tIMG_1458o bake a muffin recipe since it seemed to fit into the theme of “trying new things”. Not just any recipe, but an ultra healthy muffin recipe to start!  Date and Banana Bran Muffins. Mmm, sounds good right?

Sure it does. Don’t worry,  I was skeptical too at first, whether I could pull it off and convince myself that they would be just as good but open to the idea of trying something
even newer than just baking cookies I gave it shot and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to do and well the muffins turned out. (that’s the result in the picture above –>). Perhaps there is hope for more muffins to come in the future after all.

Blogger’s Note: Normally,  I’d scour the internet to find any appealing recipe out there, but this time, this tasty creation came from an actual cook/recipe book (borrowed from my Mom). The Ann Lindsay The Light-hearted Cookbook if you’re wondering. Also I’ve nicknamed myself The Messy Baker!

Happy Baking and Outlooks to All,

Introverted Butterfly and The Messy Baker!

Going Away to Return to You!

A Lesson on Self Discovery and Being Open to New Experiences!

It is so interesting when you chose to go away somewhere-whether it’s through travelling to another place or country; taking a short trip or retreat- that you can learn so much about yourself and how comfortable you are of stepping outside your comfort zone. Just that alone can teach you about who you are, what you are capable of doing and how far you can grow, just from one or maybe more than one IMG_1392experience.

And this is how I felt having set intentions before going out on my own retreat hoping that I could realize them or even better see them through to come to some sort of understanding about why I needed to set those ones specifically. At the same time I was open to whatever else came of this journey that I agreed to go on knowing this was one of the experiences I decided to gift myself with- stuck in a rut and in need of a way to get out-. What happened following then surprised me (but pleasantly). I discovered so much more about who I am and who I am becoming throughout the course of this journey, but more importantly how much I had grown throughout the seasons (not just during but before). That I needed to give myself credit for that, and embrace this new exploration into who I am. Almost like a reclaiming of the self, amidst this discovery of believing myself as a worthy person and special enough for this journey. I became even more in tune with my inner truth and what makes me special by finding out who I am. With that in mind, I now believe the trick is-whenever you are going away or trying a newoman-570883_640w experience- is to be open to where it can lead and what you can learn from. Some times stepping outside or inside places (as it turned out for me) that aren’t in your comfort zone can teach you so much more about yourself then you’d ever believe. So not only by setting intentions on what you want to get out of a particular experience you can make the best of it, but by being open to anything else that might come up in the process it can surprise you and allow you to grow even more. Or as I discovered sometimes the true you just needs to be rediscovered in the process of going away to come back to oneself.

Truly Yours,

Introverted Butterfly

The Fun of Trying Something New

Adventures in Baking

Have you ever thought to yourself, while admiring someone’s elses creative efforts “Man, I wish I could create like them?” Often I have. A creative person myself, I am well aware of the dedication, and energy that goes into creating something from the heart. As well as the skill and practice it takes to be able to recreate what you see. I know I’ll never be the next great Picasso, or as great as Hemingway but one tasty venture I had been longing to try was baking. Which I had been a little intimidated until I decided to simply try it and see. Sure, there were a lot of steps involved but as I discovered all it took was a little bit of reading and measuring along with the courage to try.

I wanted to start simple so my first couple recipe was simple Sugar Cookies. In deciding I wasn’t ready to bake on my own for the first time I thought it would be less intimidating even more fun to have an accomplice with me to give it a shot together. As we planned our day to bake and coordinated ingredients, location and recipe I grew excited, andIMG_1391 anxious for the day. Uncertain to how this crazy idea would turn out but ready to have fun when it came time to bake, I decided to turn those nerves into excitment and be open to whatever came of this adventure, as we went ahead. With that said, I thought our main objective then was simpy to have fun and that the cookies would be edible- otherwise there’s not much point in baking-. This way no matter what shape they came to in the end, it was still a success.  The result of baking then: we were pleasantly surprised. Not only did the baking turn out great but we had a lot of fun that day. With that in mind, I decided to try it on my own next time. To the right, is my second attempt, oatmeal raisin cookies. Really all it is, is following directions, and most importantly having fun.  As I learned, that’s all that matters in the end.

I think the objective in any new adventure is just to be open to whatever happens, how it happens and most importantly be willing to try and have fun.When you are open to the experience, then whatever you learn from it, accomplish from or get from it is a surprise- for me that was the fact that I enjoyed baking, and realized that this activity is something I could enjoy doing on my own or with help.  So be open, have fun and you never know till you try.

Bye for now,

Introverted Butterfly- blogger and now potential baker-.